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Posted on 01-05-2015

Helpful Tips for Home Dental Care

Many cats and dogs over the age of one develop periodontal disease and caring for your pet’s teeth is one of the easiest ways to make life more comfortable for them. It is ideal to begin a home dental care routine at a young age, before plaque begins to build up on your pet’s teeth.  This allows young dogs to get used to having their teeth cleaned before their adult teeth come in. Here are some great ways to keep your pet’s teeth healthy and clean:

Brushing: Ideally we should be brushing our pet’s teeth once every day. However, this can be a daunting task for owners with busy schedules or animals who do not want to have their mouths handled. If you are able to brush your pet’s teeth here are some simple steps to make brushing easy and stress free: http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/Your-Dog/Adult/blogindex_dog/Simple-Steps-to-Easier-Brushing

Diet: Choosing a maintenance diet made specifically to protect your pet’s teeth is a popular and easy way to ensure oral health. At Douglas Animal Hospital we carry Royal Canin Dental and Hills T/D for dogs and cats. Check out the links below for more information about this diet :

Dog: Royal Canin: http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/Veterinary-Products/Canine-Nutrition/Veterinary-Care-Nutrition/Dental

Dog: Hills:


Cat: Royal Canin:


Cat: Hills:


Chews/Toys: There are many companies producing toys made for teething puppies and for removing plaque from the teeth of adult dogs. There are also lots of rawhide-type chews that are made with enzymes that target the bacteria and debris that collect between teeth. 

Oral gel/rinse: Veterinarians offer a choice of oral gels and rinses that help fight tartar build up and maintain healthy tissue in the mouth. These products are either rubbed directly on to the gums of your pet or are given in their drinking water once or twice daily.

The most common signs that an animal is suffering from periodontal disease are:

  • Visible brown, yellow or grey tartar on the teeth.
  • A bright red line on the gums above the teeth.
  • Gums receding, exposing too much of the teeth and potentially exposing roots.
  • Chronic swelling or bleeding of the gums.
  • Dropping food or reluctance to eat.
  • Foul odour from the mouth (halitosis)
  • Drooling
  • Reluctance to have mouth handled.

It's a good idea to keep an eye on the condition of your pet’s teeth as both dogs and cats can be quite adept at hiding pain. If you believe your animal is suffering from periodontal disease they may need to have their teeth cleaned and polished, or possibly have teeth extracted. Please contact us for more information on dental care for your pet.  

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